Anorak News | Fabric closes as London goes soft on fun and hard on drugs

Fabric closes as London goes soft on fun and hard on drugs

by | 8th, September 2016

Islington council’s licensing committee said a “culture of drug use” existed at Fabric, the biggest nightclub in its manor, and revoked its license. The Metropolitan Police called for Fabric’s application to be reviewed following two drug-related deaths at the club between June and August this year. The council was duty bound to investigate.

Jack Crossley, 18, died after collapsing outside Fabric on August 6. Ryan Browne, 18, died after taking drugs at Fabric on June 26.

Undercover police entered the club and observed revellers and staff. They reported their observations to the council.

“Staff intervention and security was grossly inadequate in light of the overwhelming evidence that it was abundantly obvious that patrons in the club were on drugs and manifesting symptoms showing that they were,” ruled the council. “This included sweating, glazed red eyes and staring into space, and people asking for help.”

Sweating means you’re on drugs?

Cameron Leslie, who co-founded Fabric, said: “The police no longer want to work with us… they started from the end point, and gathered [evidence] accordingly.”

Alan Miller, chairman of the Night Time Industries Association, thinks holidaymakers will go elsewhere. “People come on easyJet and the Eurostar to see Buckingham Palace and Madame Tussauds, but they also come to go to Fabric,” he said “Now our nightlife is on the ropes. People will vote with their feet and go to Berlin or Barcelona.”

It’s a matter of reputation, for London and Fabric. The thinking seems to be that Fabric – not the drugs – were behind the awful deaths of two young men. But Fabric does not sell illegal drugs. It expressly forbade them. The venue has been closed because its adult patrons chose to break the rules. Can that be fair?

Alex Proud, owner of the Camden Proud nightclub, adds: “They’ll come for me next. Once the police have the ability to close a club that is well-run on those sorts of grounds, every club in London has to think it could be closed tomorrow. It’s a profoundly disturbing precedent to set.”

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, is unimpressed. “Late-night clubs are crucial to the health of restaurants, pubs and cafés,” she says. “Also, Fabric was a world-class venue and a breeding ground for up-and-coming DJs and acts. It had one of the most stringent door security regimes and, like any other club, had a vested interest in making sure venues are safe and crime free.”

Note: If you want a sneer, the police operation was called Lenor, presumably after the Fabric softener.


Posted: 8th, September 2016 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink